Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II
Other myths punctuate the Rolls-Royce narrative: 60 craftsmen in Goodwood spend some 450 hours laboring over each custom, hand-finished automobile. Rolls-Royce says that in excess of 85 percent of the 4000 cars it will sell this year are bespoke, which means that if a buyer has a grove of trees on his estate, for example, he may choose to have some of that wood included in the interior trim. Or, in the case of Hong Kong billionaire Stephen Hung, he can just elect to have his wife’s car painted entirely pink.
Yes, that’s a feature newly available on the 2015 Ghost Series II, one of relatively few changes from what we can now start calling the Series I Ghost, one of the 2010–2014 models. As inducements to upgrade go, the Series II is left wanting, although according to Rolls-Royce, that is by design. Customers who have spent large sums as recently as last month do not like to be told that their impressive ingot has been made less impressive by a new one.
Yet this new Ghost is more ingot than before, with a front fascia that’s been made to look ever so slightly more substantial by moving the grille higher and emphasizing the character lines on the hood. New adaptive LED headlights help widen the look of the nose, just as they put Rolls-Royce back on the lighting-technology lead lap. Similarly, the Ghost Series II sees its interior electronics updated to use the current iteration of BMW iDrive, with a Spirit of Ecstasy–festooned controller that supports touch input.
With the exception of the transmission, the rest of the mechanical package carries over, including the 563-hp, 6.6-liter twin-turbo V-12. The SII replaces the old ZF eight-speed automatic with essentially the same transmission, but now it’s wired into the navigation system so that it can predict when to shift, a setup that first appeared on a Rolls in the Wraith. Shifts in the Ghost were already a nonevent, so it’s hard to tell whether this is legitimate technology or an apparition. What’s indisputable is that the SII Ghost still drives like a Rolls-Royce, wafting along like a hundred-dollar bill caught in a strong updraft.